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South Island In-Depth: Self Drive

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,970

Drive the South Island experiencing all it has to offer. Enjoy whale watching, Abel Tasman National Park and the Glacier Region as well as Queenstown and Scottish influenced Dunedin.


From whale watching in Kaikoura to spectacular Milford Sound, explore the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s South Island on this 12 day journey, available as either a self-drive or coach tour.

Christchurch has become synonymous with tragedy in recent years. Four large earthquakes devastated the city between September 2010 and December 2011. While some areas and attractions remain closed for repairs, there is still plenty for early arrivals to do and see. The Air Force Museum will thrill military history buffs, while the Canterbury Museum provides a fascinating look at New Zealand history. Or take a tour of sites affected by the quakes for a glimpse of a resilient, rebuilding Christchurch.

Journey to Kaikoura for your included whale-watching cruise, then stay overnight before the scenic drive to Nelson. The South Island’s oldest settled city is famed for its arts and crafts, along with its 23 local wineries and nearby Abel Tasman National Park. The park is closed off to vehicles, allowing you to enjoy a full day exploring on foot, by boat or by kayak. Intrepid travelers will be rewarded with sights such as Cleopatra’s Pool and beautiful Cascade Falls.

Head for the West Coast to see Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks, distinctive geological formations formed over tens of thousands of years of pummeling from the Tasman Sea. Spend the night before continuing on to the Glacier Region, where you can base your exploration in either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

A Mecca for skiers, Queenstown puts you in the heart of the South Island’s mountain landscape. A highlight of your journey is a day trip to Milford Sound, a breathtaking, 16km long fjord carved by glaciers out to the Tasman Sea. You’ll also have a full day at leisure to explore Queenstown.

Journey back east to Dunedin, which, thanks to the discovery of nearby gold in 1861, was New Zealand’s most populated city until 1900. It’s now a university town proud of its strong Scots heritage. You’ll have free time to explore this ‘Edinburgh of the South’ before your Wildlife Cruise beneath the Albatross Colony.

Please click here for our New Zealand Self Drive itineraries


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,970

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive in Christchurch

Pick-up your vehicle and drive to your accommodation

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Chateau on the Park - Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton

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    Chateau on the Park - Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton



    A city resort - a unique escape nestled in 5 acres of beautiful and tranquil gardens, the DoubleTree by Hilton Christchurch offers hotel accommodation that seems a world away from the stresses of city life. Yet just minutes away from this secluded retreat is the ...

    A city resort - a unique escape nestled in 5 acres of beautiful and tranquil gardens, the DoubleTree by Hilton Christchurch offers hotel accommodation that seems a world away from the stresses of city life. Yet just minutes away from this secluded retreat is the vibrant city of Christchurch. Whether you are visiting Christchurch for business or pleasure, the peaceful garden resort of DoubleTree by Hilton Christchurch will provide all you need.

    Facilities

    • Bicycles
    • Boutique(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 2

Christchurch to Kaikoura 181 kms (112 miles) 2.25 hours

Journey to Kaikoura, and on arrival make your own way to your overnight accommodation. In the afternoon go on a spectacular whale watching cruise.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

White Morph Inn Kaikoura

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    White Morph Inn Kaikoura



    White Morph Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay for both leisure and business travellers. This waterfront accommodation is close to shops, the cinema, and various marine activities. The rooms are fully equipped to meet your every need.

    White Morph Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay for both leisure and business travellers. This waterfront accommodation is close to shops, the cinema, and various marine activities. The rooms are fully equipped to meet your every need.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Lounge(s)
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 3

Kaikoura to Nelson 242 kms (150 miles) 3 hours

Travel from Kaikoura to Nelson at the top of the South Island, known for it's local wineries and arts and crafts. On arrival make your way to your chosen overnight accommodation.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Bella Vista Motel Nelson

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    Bella Vista Motel Nelson



    Bella Vista Motel Nelson is ideally located in Nelson's Tahunanui Drive, a 15 minute stroll to Tahuna beach. Its central location is a few minutes' drive to the beach and its shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and other great Nelson attractions and activities. The airport is ...

    Bella Vista Motel Nelson is ideally located in Nelson's Tahunanui Drive, a 15 minute stroll to Tahuna beach. Its central location is a few minutes' drive to the beach and its shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and other great Nelson attractions and activities. The airport is a 5 minute drive away. The Bella Vista Motel Nelson offers a range of studio and one bedroom units. All room types feature; ensuite, microwave or kitchenette, tea & coffee making facilities, free WiFi, SKY cable TV. The property has a guest laundry, BBQ area and children's play area.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Children's Activities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Parking
    • Playground
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 4

Nelson

Today is at leisure to explore Nelson, or perhaps explore the Abel Tasman National Park on foot or by kayak.

Day 5

Nelson to Punakaiki 247 kms (153 miles) 3.5 hours

Drive to Punakaiki, home to the scenic Pancake Rocks. On arrival make your way to your accommodation.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Punakaiki Resort

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    Punakaiki Resort



    The Punakaiki Resort is an eco-tourism hotel located in the Buller district between Greymouth, 30 minutes to the south and Westport which is 45 minutes to the north. Carefully designed to complement the stunning natural setting, it is situated close to Pancake Rocks and Blowhole ...

    The Punakaiki Resort is an eco-tourism hotel located in the Buller district between Greymouth, 30 minutes to the south and Westport which is 45 minutes to the north. Carefully designed to complement the stunning natural setting, it is situated close to Pancake Rocks and Blowhole at Punakaiki and adjacent to Paparoa National Park. This hotel is a perfect choice for a leisure stay.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 6

Punakaiki to Glacier Region 217 kms (135 miles) 2.45 hours

Drive down to the Glacier Region, and make your way to your accommodation in Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

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    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier



    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park and it is just moments from one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place ...

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park and it is just moments from one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking (for Self Park)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 7

Glacier Region to Queenstown 350 kms (217 miles) 4.5 hours

Continue on to Queenstown and your accommodation.

Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

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    Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront



    On the shores of Lake Wakatipu is the 241 suite Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront. It offers the very best of the New Zealand outdoor lifestyle. Located close to several of New Zealand's finest ski fields, it is also the starting point for exploring ...

    On the shores of Lake Wakatipu is the 241 suite Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront. It offers the very best of the New Zealand outdoor lifestyle. Located close to several of New Zealand's finest ski fields, it is also the starting point for exploring the spectacular scenery of New Zealand's southern region.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Secretarial Service
    • Spa
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 8

Queenstown

A highlight of your trip is a spectacular day trip to Milford Sound, including a cruise in this scenic location.

Meal Plan Lunch
Day 9

Queenstown

Today is at leisure to explore.

Day 10

Queenstown to Dunedin 282 kms (175 miles) 3.5 hours

Journey to the Scottish town of to Dunedin. On arrival in Dunedin, make your way to your accommodation.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

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    Scenic Hotel Dunedin City



    Just 2 blocks from the Octagon in the heart of the city, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is close to shops, parks and the best city attractions and services. Guests visiting for business in Dunedin will find the central location extremely convenient. Warm and comfortable guest ...

    Just 2 blocks from the Octagon in the heart of the city, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is close to shops, parks and the best city attractions and services. Guests visiting for business in Dunedin will find the central location extremely convenient. Warm and comfortable guest rooms will welcome you back at the end of a day of sightseeing.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking (Paid)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 11

Dunedin

This morning is at leisure. This afternoon depart on your Wildlife Cruise beneath the Albatross Colony.

Duration1 Night
Day 12

Dunedin to Christchurch 361 kms (224 miles) 4.45 hours

Drive North to Christchurch where you return your vehicle and end your self-drive vacation.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 12 day car rental
  • Tours as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel Insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Optional excursions
  • Park fees unless stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

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19 Mar 2020
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